Two people were burned to death and at least three others suffered burn injuries when a fire broke out at an oil terminal in Karachi’s Keamari area on Thursday, officials and eyewitnesses said.
The blaze erupted in the Shell Oil Depot at Keamari Terminal-1 following which three people were shifted to the Burns Centre of the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi with injuries, according to police.
Jackson police Station House Officer Malik Adil Khan initially said five employees of the private oil company were reportedly present when the fire broke out and the whereabouts of two of them were not known. However, the officer in the evening said two burnt bodies were recovered from the site.
The deceased were identified as Shahid and Salih Mohammed.
The fire was brought under control by 10-12 fire tenders of the Karachi Port Trust and KMC Fire Brigade after hectic efforts lasting around four hours, the officer added.
An official of the KPT fire department said they received information about the blaze at about 1:05pm. The fire tenders managed to control the fire at 3:30pm, however, cooling work went well into the evening.
The official said the exact cause of the blaze may become clear after experts submit their final report.
A spokesperson of the Edhi Foundation whose ambulances shifted the wounded to hospital said they had received serious burns.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Pakistan Rangers Sindh in a statement said that the fire had erupted in a petrol unit at Keamari oil terminal-1.
Rangers personnel along with rescue services reached the site of the “huge” fire and cordoned off the area, the statement said.
It added that the paramilitary force’s members also took part in efforts to rescue the victims and control the fire. In order to extinguish the blaze, water tankers were summoned from the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board hydrants and fire tenders from the Fire Brigade, according to the press release.
Following the incident, the All Pakistan Oil Tankers Association suspended petroleum supply till the situation improved.
“We have suffered a lot from the fire,” said Vice Chairman Oil Tankers Association Shams Shahwani, adding that the next course of action would be decided after the fire is fully controlled.